Posts Tagged ‘China’

China Opens World’s Longest High-Speed Rail Route This Week

December 27, 2012

Independent
Dec 27, 2012

China today opened the world’s longest high-speed rail line that more than halves the time required to travel from the country’s capital in the north to Guangzhou, an economic hub in southern China.

The opening of the 1,428 mile-line was marked by the 9am departure of a train from Beijing for Guangzhou. Another train left Guangzhou for Beijing an hour later.

China has massive resources and considerable prestige invested in its showcase high-speed railways programme.

But it has in recent months faced high-profile problems: part of a line collapsed in central China after heavy rains in March, while a bullet train crash in the summer of 2011 killed 40 people. The former railway minister, who spearheaded the bullet train’s construction, and the ministry’s chief engineer, were detained in an unrelated corruption investigation months before the crash.

Trains on the latest high-speed line will initially run at 186 mph with a total travel time of about eight hours. Before, the fastest time between the two cities by train was more than 20 hours…

Read more

Bird’s Eye View: Why the Chinese Demand US Gun Control

December 20, 2012

Chinese State Media Demands US Citizens Be Disarmed… The official Chinese government news agency, Xinhua, has demanded the US immediately adopt stricter gun control measures to reduce the number of firearms the US populace is permitted to possess. The Chinese state-controlled media’s statement, titled “Innocent Blood Demands No Delay for US Gun Control,” is primarily focused on the Newtown tragedy in which 26 Americans were killed by a mad gunman. Twenty of the victims were young children. The Chinese government stated, “Their blood and tears demand no delay for the U.S. gun control.” – Breitbart.com

The Daily Bell

Dominant Social Theme: The Chinese are rightfully concerned with US violence.

Free-Market Analysis: The Chinese have weighed in on US gun violence.

Breitbart is reporting that the Chinese government is concerned about US gun violence (see above excerpt). This is notable because it tends to support certain dominant social themes we have noted before.

We do believe that the Chinese, like the Russians and the rest of the BRICs, are part of an effort to create global governance. The British – the City of London being an integral part of this larger effort – virtually ran China and India over the past century.

While British influence has eroded among the civilian population, chances are the power elite behind past depredations remains quite influential with the political and military class.

Gun control in the US – a double edge sword, where govt  seeks – and may gain the upper hand in future.

There is evidence that Western powers wanted communism to come to China in the form of Mao because that helped crush China’s unique culture and set the stage for the current quasi-capitalism that now engulfs China.

And as we have pointed out recently, both China and the US are converging on a new kind of sociopolitical and economic system that may mimic Germany’s National Socialism more than any other political paradigm.

For this reason, we’re not surprised top Chinese officials are calling for more gun control in the US. This suits the Chinese system, which is intended, we have no doubt, to more closely merge with European and North American systems over time.

The availability of guns is an impediment to totalitarianfascism or whatever else the power elite has in mind. Here’s more from the Breitbart article:

The Chinese government states:

“The past six months have seen enough shooting rampages in the United States. Just three days ago, three people were shot dead at a shopping mall in Oregon. Two weeks ago, a football player shot his girlfriend dead and then committed suicide. Five months ago, 12 people were killed and 58 wounded in a shooting spree at a midnight screening of a Batman film in Colorado.”

The government went on to express a strong dislike of the National Rifle Association while also attacking the Republican Party as somehow complicit in the violence. Conversely, the article heaps praise on the Democratic Party …

The current Chinese government, the communist People’s Republic of China, was established in a revolution led by Mao Zedong, who killed an estimated 40-70 million people with starvation, executions, and re-education camps.

This last point is a very good one. If you are interested in the results of an unarmed populace, look no further than China’s Great Leap Forward under Mao.

Mao: Father of modern Chinese gun control.

Whether it is Hitler’s Germany or Stalin‘s Russia, an unarmed population always invites the retaliation of tyrants. And we can also see that gun control does little to reduce violence statistically. Australian officials have been busy disarming their populace but violence is not down appreciably, as it is only law-abiding citizens that allow themselves to be disarmed. Criminals remain armed.

For those who believe as we do in directed history, the specter of aggressive efforts at gun confiscation is not a good sign. Those who are engaged in the promotion of world government are providing us with clear illustrations that they are willing to shed blood to attain it. These individuals and their surrogates practice the philosophy of “the end justifies the means.”

But just as importantly, if not more so, the opinion of Chinese officials regarding the positives of US gun control provide us with an insight as to how closely aligned US and Chinese leaders really are when it comes to sociopolitical and economic policies.

The world is being prepared for global government, in our view. The US is being brought down while other countries like the BRICs are being brought up.

The idea that China poses an existential threat to the West is no more convincing, in our view, than the idea that Islam is implacably opposed to Christianity and that a religious war is in the offing.

Conclusion: These are memes of the elite. They are phantasmagoria designed to distract us from the truth that is both more mundane and perhaps more dangerous.

China to build world’s tallest building – in just 90 days

November 23, 2012

By Clifford Coonan

When completed by the end of next March, Sky City in Changsha will be the tallest skyscraper in the world, standing at 2,749ft (838m) high, over 220 floors. And remarkably, they’ve not started building it yet.

It took Dubai more than five years to build the world’s tallest building, the 828m Burj Khalifa, but architects and engineers at Broad Sustainable Building (BSB), a unit of the air conditioning maker Broad Group, are confident they can beat that record.

Critics have pointed out that BSB’s construction company has never built anything taller than 30 storeys before, but the builders seem unworried.

BSB senior vice-president Juliet Jiang told Construction Week Online that the company’s plan to construct the skyscraper “will go on as planned with the completion of five storeys a day.”

Designed by engineers who worked on the Burj Khalifa, Sky City will achieve the target by assembling BSB’s 95 per cent prefabricated modular technology at a breakneck construction pace. Nine of the world’s newest tallest 20 buildings are being built in China.

Adrian Smith, the Chicago-based designer of the Burj Khalifa who is working on the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia, said at a meeting of the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in Shanghai last month that rapid urbanisation in China would fuel major expansion in tall buildings.

“There are 179,000 people moving into urban areas every week. Do they go into a horizontal or a vertical city? It’s a question of economics,” said Mr Smith. BSB, currently responsible for 20 modular structures in China, demonstrated the construction method to a wider audience in January, when it constructed a 30-storey hotel in 15 days.

Read more at The Independent

Japan vs China: No compromise over East China Sea islands

September 27, 2012

Japan and China are in a war of words over who owns a chain of islands in the East China Sea, and leaders from both countries say they will not compromise. The territorial dispute has caused violent protests and confrontations in recent weeks. Steve Chao reports from Ishigaki, near the disputed islands…

Chinese drones, marine survey heat up island dispute with Japan

September 27, 2012

China plans to use unmanned drones to increase its presence around the islands that are at the center of a volatile dispute with Japan. They will conduct marine surveillance of the area. Three Chinese patrol vessels still remain very close to the uninhabited – but strategic – archipelago; and have briefly entered waters which Japan considers its territory. The conflict’s seen large-scale protests in both countries turn ugly. The row could be further complicated as Taiwanese boats are now heading to the islands to reassert their fishing rights in the area while all around, the US is increasing its military activity in the region. RT talks to James Corbett, editor of the Corbett Report website, from Japan…

 

The Beginning of the End for the U.S. Dollar as the World Reserve Currency

September 20, 2012

Michael Payne
OpEd News 

Dark times lie ahead for the U.S. dollar as its future as the world’s reserve currency looks to be in great jeopardy. For more than 50 years the U.S. dollar has been the chief monetary instrument used by the nations of the world to facilitate trade involving commodities such as petroleum, manufactured products, and gold. But the times are changing and many of these nations, with China at the forefront, are finalizing trade agreements that utilize only their own currencies.

So it appears that the reign of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency will, quite likely, be coming to an end within the next ten years. It is certainly no surprise that China, widely considered to be the premier economic power of the future, is wasting no time in exerting its growing power and influence in these matters. China is actively working with nations in Asia, the Middle East and other regions of the world to bring dramatic changes to the way world commerce is conducted and money is exchanged.Many of these countries who are moving away from the dollar no longer view America as a stable and reliable force on the world economic stage and they are seeking alternatives as a hedge against a severe future decline in the dollar’s value.That China is the main facilitator of these moves to do away with the dollar is without question; the evidence is everywhere. Here are some specific examples of the various agreements that have been between China and other nations in recent times:*China and Iran are creating a barter system by which Iranian oil will be exchanged for Chinese imported products. This is, quite obviously, an agreement designed to counter U.S. sanctions against Iran since China has no intention of discontinuing the importation of Iranian oil. Besides the barter system the two countries will also conduct trade using the Chinese yuan, the Iranian rial and gold.*China and Japan announced plans to bypass the dollar and use their own currencies in their trade relations. Discussions involving a partnership between South Korea and China to exchange their currencies also have taken place. This is a huge development as China, Japan and South Korea are the dominant economic powers in that Asian region.

China and Russia have, for more than a year, been conducting trade using rubles and the yuan.

China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have announced an agreement which will use the yuan for oil trades. The Chinese National Bank said that this agreement, worth around $5.5 billion, was made to “strengthen financial cooperation, to promote trade and investments, and to mutually assure regional financial stability.”

*Russia and Iran have agreed to use rubles as a means of currency in their trades. Russia has joined China in opposing U.S. sanctions against Iran and fully intends to maintain a close relationship with Iran.

*China will pursue bilateral trades with Russia and Malaysia using the yuan, the ruble and the ringgit, respectively.

*The nations comprising the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) recently agreed at their summit meeting in Sanya, China, to establish mutual lines of credit in local currencies. This, again, is a very significant development since this group of nations represents a very powerful economic bloc going into the future.

*The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has stated that “the current system of currencies and capital rules which binds the world economy is not working properly and was largely responsible for the financial and economic crises.” Further that “the dollar should be replaced with a global currency.”

*The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently issued a statement about replacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency with a system of Special Drawing Rights called SDR’s, an international type of currency created in 1969 which is, in effect, a “basket of national currencies” backed by the full faith and credit of the member countries’ governments.

It seems like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon to do away with the dollar as the reserve currency. This could be termed as “payback time” as many countries that either have lost respect for America, or who fear its military outreach, have found a way to combat physical force with economic power. That may well be the case when we consider that this movement is being strongly promoted by China, Russia, and Iran, no real friends of the U.S.

When the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency the effects on America will be very severe. It will have monumental negative effects on the economy and its ability to conduct trade with other nations. In many cases nations will simply stop using the dollar. In other cases they may use the dollar but only at heavily discounted rates. Such actions will cause the Fed to run the Treasury Dept. printing presses non-stop, creating massive inflation and making the dollar the modern-day version of Fiat Money.

And yet, in every dark cloud there is a silver lining. If the dollar loses world favor, if it is severely devalued, there will be an opportunity for the government and the business community to take advantage by working together to rebuild American manufacturing, since exports to other countries will be at much lower prices. When that time comes we’ll see if each of them has the capacity to respond to the changing times and the new opportunities.

The demise of the dollar will also bring radical changes to the American lifestyle. When this economic tsunami hits America, it will make the 2008 recession and its aftermath look like no more than a slight bump in the road. It will bring very undesirable changes to the American lifestyle through massive inflation, high interest rates on mortgages and cars, and substantial increases in the cost of food, clothing and gasoline; it will have a detrimental effect on every aspect of our lives.

Such a revolutionary event in the world’s reserve currency poses a far greater threat to America’s security than any of those many fabricated terrorists that the Washington-based facilitators of war have created to keep the American people in a state of fear. This is a real threat and danger that America will be powerless to defeat with any form of military might. This will be a battle involving economic survival.

The U.S. government obviously can see what is going on, how these nations are rapidly moving away from the dollar. But is it doing anything to respond to the challenge? Time and time again this nation’s dysfunctional government has been warned that it is going in the wrong direction and must change course. It has been warned that it must stop pouring hundreds of billions and trillions of dollars into its war machine and downscale it vast worldwide military empire; it has not heeded those warnings.

This government knows that it is imperative that it significantly reduces its monumental national debt, that is must take steps to restore its manufacturing sector and rehire its workers, the foundation of America’s economy. But the corrupted politicians who answer only to the dictates of Corporate America have refused to respond to those warnings and they continue to follow a course that will eventually lead to financial insolvency.

And now time is running out for the U.S. dollar as the world community of nations has seen enough of America’s incapability in dealing with its most critical problems. It has now become evident that many of the nations of the world no longer have faith or confidence in either the U.S. dollar or in America itself.


Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His articles concentrate on social, economic and political matters as well as American foreign policy. He is a U.S. Army veteran and a graduate of Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

WARNING: CONDITIONS ARE RIPE FOR A COMING NUCLEAR WAR

August 19, 2011

By Andrew McKillop
21st Century Wire
August 19, 2011

It is perhaps difficult to understand why our leaders and mainstream media have not fully recognized and discuss openly the real and present danger that nuclear weapons and facilities pose to our communities worldwide.
 
It is possible that political elites know, but they are perhaps too stupid, or too reckless and arrogant, so they simply ignore what it all means.
 
We are currently entering the hot zone. The nuclear fuse can easily be lit now with Syria and Iran as prime NATO and Israeli targets. Just like “Mad Dog” Gaddafi suffered a trial by media, few western spectators will have much sympathy for Syria’s Basher el Assad.
 
Those in the US and Europe who are sworn to protect Israel’s ‘security’ will also have you believe that Iran does have quite long-range missiles.

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT: Elites know, but do want to talk about the iminent danger of nuclear material and the predictable use of these weapons.

But what they will not tell you is that Iran could also take out the Dimona bomb-making factory the Zionist militarists are so terribly proud of. Any day of the week, weekends too. The same works in reverse as Israel could also target a nuclear power facility in Iran.  Who would blink first?
 
The same applies to Hezbollah. They aren’t going to like their el Assad “patron” going down the tube. In theory, they could deploy a Scud-type missiles with enough range to hit the Dimona facility.
 
The environmental and economic blow-back from any such incident would be huge, and in most cases, the regions involved would not be able to recover- ever.
 
So what are all these massive nuclear arsenals for, if not for military use? Why has depleted uranium already been sprayed via US, NATO, and Israeli munitions across the Middle East and North Africa? Still, no one in the MSM or in our halls of government seems to take the asymmetric nuclear war threat seriously – so far.

TOO LATE FOR NON-PROLIFERATION

The venerable and creaking NPT Treaty, first signed by only 3 States in March 1970 (US, USSR, UK), which now has 189 member state signatories, but even more than in 1970 the treaty- on its face, has no meaning.

Only explosive nuclear weapons, that is conventional nuclear weapons, are covered and theoretically limited by the treaty.

The treaty makes no mention of Depleted Uranium (DU) weapons, or the vast Dirty Bomb targets of civil nuclear power reactors. This in no way prevents these “Doomsday Machines” being the most daunting nuclear weapons we face, taking account of their annual nuclear waste production, their in-reactor nuclear materials, their fuel rod stores and reprocessing centres, uranium mining wastes, reactor assemblies and nuclear fuels used on the world’s 1100 submarines and surface ships powered by the atom, and the ever-growing numbers and amounts of lost or stolen nuclear equipment and materials.

Taking only the world’s presently operating 430-odd civil power reactors (about 441 before Japan’s Fukushima disaster), their annual production of nuclear wastes is around 30 000 tons per year, to be sure much of it defined as low-level, relatively low risk in radiological terms and relatively low risk in chemical toxicity terms. Although exact data is secret, Depleted Uranium weapons production is a major value-adding spinoff from civil power reactor wastes, producing weapons with proven and high carcinogenic effects, and chemical toxicity effects on both humans and animals, but as already mentioned these weapons are not covered by the NPT Treaty.

DU – YOU ARE DEAD

Annual production of Depleted Uranium weapons, mainly anti-tank ordinance but including others, is as noted secret, but estimates suggest the main producers – the USA, Russia, France, China, the UK (ironically, the five declared nuclear weapons states as defined by the NPT), Germany, India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea and an increasing number of other countries – manufacture about 4000 tons of DU ordnance per year. Stocks are high and rising, due to low and limited use, although the two Gulf wars against Iraq (1991 and from 2003) and the war against Afghanistan (since 2001) have used an estimated 3000 to 3500 tons of DU weapons to date. Small and limited amounts of DU weapons utilisation are reported in the NATO war against the Gaddafi regime of Libya. Cancer deaths due to these radioactive and chemically toxic weapons, especially in Iraq, are estimated to be as high as 10 000 to date, and deaths will certainly continue for decades ahead.

Make no mistake: DU is a killer.

EFFECTS OF DU: Many military and medical workers can tell you first-hand the shocking effects of DU on humans.

DU weapon stocks in the USA alone are estimated to be more than 25 000 tons, and world stocks are likely well above 70 000 tons.

The so-called attractiveness of DU weapons is directly linked to their origin – wastes from so-called civil nuclear power, used to make weapons of war. The basic material, uranium alloys with various levels of radioactivity and chemical toxicity is above all cheap. Secondly, it has major technical characteristics making it almost ideal for producing anti-tank and anti-building weapons. Uranium metal is heavy and dense. It is easily machined. Being radioactive, it is easy to trace and track, for example during weapons testing and through the industrial production process. But perhaps its main trump card is its incendiary nature – that is very easily catching fire and liberating large amounts of heat, triggering secondary fires, for example in tank and armed vehicle fuel reservoirs, and wall claddings and flooring of targeted buildings.

This incendiary, heat-liberating characteristic explains the acronym for the biggest single type of DU ordnance: anti-tank shells and missiles. These are called HEAT ordnance, for High Energy Anti Tank.

The usual type of shell or missile is called “discarding sabot”, designating a machined uranium sheath or nose cone on the shell, behind which a titanium or iridium high-strength metal dart is positioned, with the explosive “military payload”, for example pentrite or TNT, placed further behind. When the shell hits the armour of the targeted tank, the uranium alloy cone or sheath explodes, liberating fine dust particles which instantly ignite. The heat liberated massively weakens the armor, through which the dart penetrates, breaching the tank hull, enabling the conventional explosive ‘stage’ of the shell to enter and explode. Typical times needed for this sequence are around 400 milliseconds (0.4 seconds).

To be sure, all kinds of other dust particles can also be incendiary – for example rice or wheat dust, able to totally explode and destroy 65 000-ton cargo ships in worst-case explosions, phosphates as used in home-made bombs, and aluminium, magnesium or iron dust and filings as used in fireworks and in weapons, but uranium is extremely incendiary. Also to be sure, generous amounts of the uranium dust do not catch fire, are transported by wind, fall to earth with rain, and enter the food chain and water table – causing decades-long cancer epidemics in most affected areas. Our democracy-loving, human rights-defending political deciders with clean finger nails and a clean conscience, who order the use of these filthy weapons would apparently be unconcerned about that.

  The image of the mushroom cloud has become part of our cultural lexicon.

CIVIL POWER REACTOR DIRTY BOMBS

As we know from the Fukushima disaster, and the Chernobyl disaster any industry standard 900 MW light water or other type of reactor using uranium fuel contains a “radiological inventory” roughly equal to 150 Hiroshima-sized atom bombs. Each reactor.

Fuel rod stores, and dumps, can radically increase this equivalence, when spent fuel rods are stored, or buried on-site, usually only a few metres under the soil. Depending on the age and type of the reactor, its operational history, and other parameters like spent fuel rod inventories on-site, one single industry standard civil power reactor can be considered equivalent to as much as 250 or 350 Hiroshima-sized bombs in its capacity to kill by radiation poisoning, and totally sterilize hundreds of square kilometres of land – becoming a Total Exclusion Zone for decades ahead.

Using HEAT ordnance, or in fact any kind of conventional military ordnance, or unconventional ordnance such as drone airplanes with stand-off missiles, or simply a 50-kilogram explosive charge, no conventional civil power reactor’s core shielding will resist. Attack also targeting the reactor’s cooling systems, and its IT and control centre, will assure almost 98% “target acquisition” as the military jargon puts it, in restricted-audience advertising and promotion of HEAT ordnance. The myth of nuclear deterrence, and the fatuous irrelevance of the NPT Treaty is shown by this. All component parts of the civil nuclear power system are equally vulnerable to conventional military attack, especially spent fuel production and reprocessing, even using 1914-1918 war ordnance, Somali “Technicals” or home-made drone bombs.  No country with conventional civil nuclear power has any meaningful national security

Of one thing we can be sure: no leading politician in any country using civil nuclear power will admit this basic truth. This curious primitive-minded and schizophrenic separation of civil nuclear power, from military nuclear weapons, is all the more hypocritical and evil when it concerns Western leaders almost proudly using DU weapons against Afghans, Iraqis, or Libyans. This is an open and permanent challenge to attacked people and nations to hit back using “asymmetric” and devastating weapons already positioned in the Oppressor’s country: their civil nuclear Dirty Bombs.

When we wake up to a successful asymmetric nuclear weapons attack – to be sure described as an industrial accident, and then later on as a terrorist attack – it will be much too late to whine “but we didn’t know”.

Both Chernobyl and Fukushima have provided all we need to know about the weapons potential of so-called civil nuclear power. Thousands of victims of DU-caused cancers in Iraq and Afghanistan can explain to the educated middle class voters of the countries producing and using DU weapons that these are genuine nuclear weapons – which kill by cancer.

Understandably, one single case of using this asymmetric nuclear weapon in the Aggressor countries will be worth millions of words and online rantings, and those who voted for producing and using these weapons – either knowingly or not – will have paid the price of their destructive democratic decision.

So when will the discussion begin? It should begin now, before it’s too late.

YOUNG AMERICANS: FORGET YOUR STUDENT LOANS AND MOVE TO GONZO TOWN

June 15, 2011

By Stone Pinkerton
Gonzo Town
June 14, 2011

Getting ahead? Going to college? Whether they know it or not, millions of young Americans are joining the ranks of the over-qualified and under paid and unemployed. But heck, you can still give it the “old college try” anyway, but be informed of the pro’s and cons of your decision.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, there is only one job for every five college graduate applicants in America today. And with most jobs in the US being off-shored to the Far East and Latin America, it’s a safe bet that stat is not changing anytime soon, at least for the next 10 years, unless of course you are going for a position under the Golden Arches.

In the last 12 years, college tuition in the US has risen a staggering 900%, while wages have jumped an impressive… well, err, an average 10%. For the bright, young, and gifted, this equation should really be studied very carefully. Regardless of how bleak the outlook is, America has always been the land of positive thinking and no wonder, as there is no shortage in the queue of 17 year olds dying to (literally) sign their life away to JP Morgan, Citi Bank and Wells Fargo in exchange for in many cases, around $80,000 in student loans.

  STUDENT LOAN SUB-PRIME BUBBLE: Cheap loans can really stack up, but the benefits don’t.

Before we rush to judgement, let’s be fair and breakdown what the kids are getting for their 80K. First and foremost, they get that golden fleece, the sheep skin also known as The Degree. In addition, millions of young Americans will be given a four year window in which to master the fine art of drinking beer and how to both hold and suck cannabis smoke from a perspex cylinder. If they have spent their 80K wisely, they will also be gifted cheap tickets to Division I football and basketball games and their fantastic after parties. As a keen sportsman myself, perhaps to best value for the money was the free campus gym membership and intramural sports programs which kept me fit enough to withstand non-stop weekends of partying. On top of all this fun stuff, it’s also a bottomless trough of free time to play computer games in your apartment, eat pizza, screw around with your guitar, and of course, ample opportunities for scouting out members of the opposite sex. Apparently, it all looks good on your CV.

So in summary: lots of beers, drugs, sports, parties, games, sex, and 80K in the hole, with little chance of landing a job after four years. In fact, you will most likely be competing for lower level jobs against seemingly uncool debt-free people who never graduated from university. You might consider that you could achieve all that, and more, by simply going to Thailand for two years… at a cost of $5k.

For those fortunate sons and daughters, the Degree may hold some potential value, but for most its value is purely vestigial. In days gone by, this parchment represented the pinnacle in academic achievement and was your passport to career liberation.  In a Darwinian race to land that 1 out of 5 jobs, you will need more than “a well-rounded CV”. This remains the case- only for 20% of the graduate herd, the lucky ones, and the ones with the best connections. The other 80% will unfortunately be disappointed, and will opt for a less glamorous career path like waiting tables, making cocktails or capucinos, lifeguarding, ‘delivering’ things, ‘guarding’ things, lap dancing and/or other forms of prostitution.

GRADUATE OPPORTUNITIES: Lots of cool jobs are waiting for US degree holders.

Even if you are an A or B student, it’s likely that you chose a degree that your high school career advisor told you would be “useful”, or your friends promised would be “easier” in the end analysis. If you fall into this category you would have chosen to pursue a degree in the following: communications, media communications, media studies, public relations, human development, psychology, sports psychology, marketing, advertizing, ”management”, business management, human resource management, occupational therapy, entrepreneurial studies, sports management, sociology, climate change, international relations, journalism, “art”, philosophy, or even (God help you) the once celebrated holy grail of qualifications known as the MBA.

All these degrees mentioned, for the most part, are either completely useless, or they are subjects one could learn in a year to 18 months as an intern in the working world. We could also say safely that none of them are worth $80,000 in student loans, credit cards and other institutional debt that will follow you long into life as your college experience becomes a fleeting, distant memory as you reach 50 years old- wrinkled, sans hair, overweight and kids to feed and cloth. They probably won’t tell you that at your College Orientation Day. That’s the reality of it though.

What’s the alternative? If you live in a socially advanced and utopia society like Gonzo Town, you would be provided with a number of viable and more economically sound options.

Firstly, instead of over-hyping the alleged status of the over-priced university education con, we would advise our little Gonzo Sprites to get a job and go to Community College for two years. By doing this you have the following advantages over your mostly deluded elite counterparts at a four year university. You will have no debt, you can earn money, perhaps live at home and save money, get more or less the same curriculum the university college offers- at a fraction of the cost… and you will save your liver from getting hammered by a barrage of cheap beer every weekend. The draw backs are simply less parties, and you have to put up with your parents for a while longer. But, you can still gate crash spring break and with more money to throw around chasing girls or guys. Quids in, as they say.

Second option: Learn a trade and become a ‘skilled worker’. Here is a truly revolutionary concept, so radical in fact, the entire US and European modern economies were built upon it. Question: who earns more than a lawyer, a resident physician, or most company directors? Answer: a plumber. Do an apprenticeship, as a plumber, electrician, roofing engineer, X-Ray technician, or a building surveyor and you could probably save up enough money by the time you are 35 to fund a dotcom start-up, netting you another few million. Get it? I wish I had (I got my degree in art and philosophy and remain poor, but happy, to this day).

Third option: enlist in the armed forces. On paper the GI Bill looks like a brilliant option- all your bills paid for by US tax payers, no heavy student loans and you get a dose of that legendary “military discipline” we all hear about. Air Force, Navy and a few smart grunts and jarheads excluded, what they don’t tell you before you sign on the dotted line at your local strip-mall recruitment office is that you are now essentially running corporate security for the likes of Beaty Balfour, KBR, Haliburton, Unocal and Exxon. You may also risk having certain areas of your brain de-actived, and possibly removed. These include your moral compass, capacity for creative and original thought, flickering trance-like states induced by the American flag, national anthem, and a loss of your ability to distinguish Osama bin Laden from Ali Baba in Disney’s Aladdin. True hazards of the job.

Fourth option: buy guns and start a survivalist colony in Oregon.

In the end, one can only feel sorry for all those bright young American students who have been sold the perpetual lie that a college education is somehow worth its weight in gold. If you are still a student, you should really be asking your elders and teachers why the last four US Administrations sold out the economy- aka your future jobs, off-shore to China and the like. And then go ask your Professor or Career Guidance Councilor if they themselves would pay $80,000, or $120,000 for a college degree with no job prospects at the end of the line. Send their reply here to Gonzo Town.

Question: Are students, like home buyers pre-2008, being lured into a huge Sub-Prime trap of easy loans and inflated asset (the asset here being a university degree) values?

And still, the richest dudes and babes(mind you, mostly divorced) I’ve known… never did graduate from university.

There it is kids. Go to the Debt-Slave Land of no jobs where you will be unwittingly lining the pockets of shameless banksters (and serving them drinks at the same time), or come study and work in Gonzo Town. Any questions?

China Issues Warning on US Assets as Dollar Index Hits a 1-Month Low

June 8, 2011

Reuters
June 7, 2011

The dollar fell to a one-month low against a basket of currencies on Tuesday and a record low against the Swiss franc after a Chinese official said the greenback would continue to weaken versus other major currencies.

The head of the international payment department at the Chinese forex regulator also warned about the risks of excessive holdings of U.S. dollars.

The dollar index [.DXY  73.72    0.20  (+0.28%)   ]fell to a low of 73.601, the lowest since May 5, while the greenback fell to 0.8328 Swiss francs on trading platform EBS a record low.

“China has been growing its share of U.S. securities quite aggressively in the past, and the threat that they will be  selling these holdings has always been there,” said Adam Myers, senior forex strategist at Credit Agricole.

SLIP SLIDING: As the US spends wildly, China issues stark warning on US assets.

“But this is not a credible threat as a sell-off will lead  to a steepening of the U.S. yield curve which will hurt the U.S. and the Chinese, who are dependent on the U.S. economy. But I do agree that the dollar is headed lower in the long term.”

The euro rose to its highest in a month, climbing to $1.4666 on EBS, up nearly 0.6 percent on the day. Traders cited option barriers at $1.47 which could check gains in the near term.

The common currency had got a boost in early European trade after a senior government official said the Greek government expects parliament to vote on its medium-term austerity plan by the end of June, a move which will fulfil a condition to receive new international funding.

The euro has gained more than 4 percent from its May 23 trough. The immediate target for the common currency is $1.4732, a 78.6 percent retracement of its May 4 to May 23 fall. A break of that level should take it back to the May 4 high around $1.4939, though many traders think the currency will need a signal from European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet this week that the institution is ready to raise rates in July.

Earlier in the session, the euro slipped after Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said the common currency was overvalued.

“Euro is still clear of crisis levels, but flows are very choppy and investors are awaiting a solution from the IMF, EU, ECB, the private bond-holders and Greece,” said Lena Komileva, head of G-10 currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman. “It is more of a momentum lift for the euro than anything fundamental.”

With market views mixed on the euro, implied volatilities on euro/dollar options have eased as few market players see the need to hedge against sharp moves in the pair. One-month euro/dollar volatility slipped to around 11.40 percent, near its lowest in a month.

Bernanke in Focus

While the euro hit one-month highs, worries about a faltering U.S. economy have boosted market expectations for the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates lower for longer, making the dollar an attractive funding currency.

A fall in U.S. shares to 2-1/2 month troughs is fanning expectations that the Fed is eager to keep rates low for a protracted period, with some market players even talking about the possibility of QE3 after the current asset buying programme, dubbed QE2, is completed at the end of this month…

READ FULL REPORT HERE

Libya says NATO raids killed 718 civilians so far

June 1, 2011

By Imed Lamloum
AFP
June 1, 2011 

Libya has accused NATO of killing 718 civilians and wounding 4,067 in 10 weeks of air strikes, as African efforts for a truce stalled and Italy said Muammar Gaddafi’s regime is “finished.”

The toll of dead and injured was given at a news conference on Tuesday in Tripoli by government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim, who also warned the departure of Gaddafi would be a “worst case scenario” for Libya.

“Since March 19, and up to May 26, there have been 718 martyrs among civilians and 4,067 wounded – 433 of them seriously,” Ibrahim said, citing health ministry figures which cannot be independently verified. He said these figures do not include Libyan military casualties, a toll the defense ministry refuses to divulge.

“If Gaddafi goes, the security valve will disappear,” Ibrahim said, ruling out that the embattled strongman will step down from power.

“Gaddafi’s departure would be the worst case scenario for Libya,” he told reporters, and warned of “civil war.”

DEAD LIBYANS: Nato attack has left hundreds of innocent Libyans in the body count column..

Ibrahim also denied that South African President Jacob Zuma, who met Gaddafi in Tripoli on Monday, had discussed an “exit strategy” with him.

Zuma “never discussed any exit strategies as they have been described in the media,” the spokesman said.

Earlier, a statement from the South African presidency in Pretoria said Gaddafi would not leave Libya despite growing international pressure and intensified NATO strikes on his regime.

“Colonel Gaddafi called for an end to the bombings to enable a Libyan dialogue. He emphasised that he was not prepared to leave his country, despite the difficulties,” Zuma’s office said in a statement.

NATO pounded Tripoli earlier on Tuesday, only hours after Zuma left Libya’s capital having failed to close the gap between Gaddafi and rebels fighting to oust him since February.

In its latest operational update, NATO said on Tuesday it struck four military sites in the vicinity of Tripoli, including missile launchers, a vehicle storage facility and a radar.

Elsewhere it took out a command and control node and several tanks, truck-mounted guns and other military vehicles in and around Misrata, the main rebel-held city in western Libya.

Zuma said raids by NATO, which is enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya and protecting civilians from a government crackdown under a UN mandate, were undermining African mediation efforts.

South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane called for an immediate ceasefire after Zuma said Gaddafi was “ready” to implement an African Union peace plan already rejected by NATO and the rebels.

In the rebel capital Benghazi, in eastern Libya, Italy’s foreign minister said on Tuesday Gaddafi’s regime was already staring at defeat.

“The Gaddafi regime is finished, he must leave office, he must leave the country,” Franco Frattini told a joint news conference with Ali al-Essawi, the rebels’ foreign affairs chief.

“His aides have left, he has no international support, the G8 leaders reject him, he must go.”

Frattini was speaking ahead of a ceremony to inaugurate a new Italian consulate in the eastern city, in another major blow to Gaddafi after NATO insisted his “reign of terror” is nearing an end.

Italy, the former colonial ruler of Libya and strategic economic partner with Gaddafi’s regime, has joined international calls led by Britain, France and the United States for the Libyan leader to go.

In Washington, State Department spokesman said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit the United Arab Emirates on June 9 for a meeting of the Libya contact group.

“This meeting will build on the last contact group meeting held in Rome,” and will allow the United States and its partners to discuss implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973, Mark Toner told reporters.

UN under secretary general B Lynn Pascoe told the UN Security Council meanwhile that at least 1,200 people have been killed or are missing after trying to flee Libya by boat since the start of the uprising against Gaddafi mid-February.

At the same time, the official TAP news agency reported from Tunis on Tuesday that five more officers have joined the flow of defectors from Gaddafi’s regime, arriving at the weekend in neighbouring Tunisia.

The colonel and four lieutenant colonels as well as four rank-and-file soldiers arrived by boat on Sunday, the report said.

In Rome on Monday, five generals, two colonels and a major announced they had defected from Gaddafi’s forces, calling on other officers to follow their example.

Abdel Rahman Shalgham, a former foreign minister who was Tripoli’s UN representative before switching sides, told a news conference that around 120 officers had defected in recent days.

© 2011 AFP